Tea in Mauritius
Tea in Mauritius dates back to 1890. The first seeds of tea were introduced from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) in 1886. In 1919, vanilla tea was introduced to the local market and up to today, it is the most popular tea drunk by Mauritians. Currently, there are 3 main manufacturers of tea in Mauritius; Chartreuse, Bois Chéri, and Corson.
In the south, the hills of Bois Cheri have hundreds of acres of tea plantations. During the harvest, women start picking the leaves at dawn. They only remove the first 2 or 3 leaves on the stems. The tea is then transported to the manufacture where it is first dried and wilted for 2 days. It then ferments at room temperature for an hour and a half and is stabilised by heating at 110°C for 10 minutes. After the leaves have been sorted according to their calibre, the tea then macerates for a whole month. It is then flavoured with vanilla by adding essential oils to give it the particular flavour of Mauritian tea.
To find out more take a tour of a tea plantation. A guide will walk you around during your visit and will give you the history behind tea in Mauritius. It is a trip that will take you back in time to the first days of Mauritius with its rich colonial history. You will get a chance to learn about the importance of tea productions in Mauritius.